Welcome to my blog. Feel free to search around the archives for some great pictures and what led up to now.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Family

I would like to welcome to the family the Chase Phantom and the Five Tennie.  I got these in a couple of days ago and they are wonderful.  Alex wore the tennies to Hueco and for once she didn't worry about slipping, leading to her having a much better experience.  She even freesoloed a 5.6 and successfully down climbed it.  It's amazing what you can do when you trust your equipment.

Sign me up

I have officially signed up for the 2012-2013 USA Climbing series.  This includes the Sport Climbing Series, American Bouldering Series and Collegiate Climbing Series.  I am at a disadvantage because I am pretty far from any of the comps, but hopefully we can get the team together and take a van to them.  I would really like to compete sooner than later but we'll see what we can do.  Nationals is in Colorado so at least I am only 8-9 hours from there.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


My two Black Diamond Half Dome Helmets came in and they are wonderful.  I am not an avid helmet wearer, but I am a proponent of Alex (or anyone I take climbing) not cracking their head on the rock.  I am pretty pleased with these helmets, especially that they fit perfectly.  This weekend I intend to take Shawn to Hueco and hit up some of the multipitch stuff.
Since my dog Cooper can't operate a camera, he helped me test out the new helmets.  
Then he gave up in the struggle.


Today I went to Hueco Tanks and was just going to take some picture and scope out some stuff I might want to get on later.  However, I did get on some stuff anyway though and knocked out 2 V9s.  I started at Martini Roof because Alex wanted to see Baby Martini.  I got on Dirty Martini and got it first go of the day.  This is not to be confused with Dirty Martini on the Rocks.  The one I did was the little crimpy problem that goes straight up through Big Iron on His Hip.  Then we wandered around looking at all sorts of stuff, to include; Loaded Direct, Martini Roof, Dope Fiend Low, Barefoot on Sacred Ground.  Then we went to look at Alma Blanca and since it looked pretty hard, I got on Pumped Full, and got it second go.  Alex had to move the pad on Dirty Martini, so we didn't get a picture but here is one of Pumped Full.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Reel Rock

I laughed, I cried, I sweated watching Honnold solo.  It was everything I wanted and more.  I cannot express to you all, how much you need to get out and see the Reel Rock tour.  You will not be let down.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Being no spring chicken to the internet world, I am used to trolls in every topic across the internet.  Every topic except climbing.  There are people that get flamed when they make stupid comments that Chris Sharma sucks or Fred Nicole is a little girl, but usually there aren't trolls like this in a legit discussion group.  Today I was proven wrong, however. (Content Warning)

I was commenting on a discussion about how someone was burning trees, illegally bolting, and chipping in Joshua Tree, California.  I understand that there is a free-spirited aspect to climbing, but the reality is, we live in a world with rules and in order to keep our freedom, we must abide by these rules when we do encounter them.  I am not offended by the fact that Mr. Yuppie here disagreed with my opinion, nor by the manner he chose to express it.  Merely by the fact that he would pollute the minds of young climbers that would read this and think it is better to behave the way the person did in J-Tree. Groups like the Access Fund would not exist if there wasn't a problem.  It is our responsibility to maintain places like Hueco for future generations.


Since I can now do climbing workouts for PT.  I have added a hangboard to my apparatus.  This will allow me to do muscle isolation for PT and hopefully commit to finger training at home.  I think that should be nice.  I have a long way to go to get where I want to be.  It's mostly arms but my hands could stand to be a lot stronger too.  Right now I have to let my finger recover from El Techo.  Throwing your hand into a crack and twisting it is no fun.  I give a lot of props to anyone that crack climbs, especially off-width.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Valorous Achievement

Introducing the Five Ten Valor.
When I got back from Hueco this afternoon, these were waiting for me.  They are super comfortable and super sticky.  Great for approach and I can wear them in uniform!


Once upon a time...

I woke up at 7:00 this morning and headed out to Hueco.  It was almost 80° by the time I checked into the park around 8:15.  I brought a guy I work with named Shawn out and he had never been there, so by the time we watched the video it was so hot.

In true fashion, I forgot to dump the photos off of my memory card so I took video of about 3 attempts before I ran out of memory.  I told Shawn to just take some photos at his leisure.

I figured that after 5 or so attempts it wasn't going to go anyway.

I was shredding my pointer finger on my right hand every attempt.  I knew I would have to get it soon or give up, and El Techo was the only reason I came out today.

I had fallen on the move out of the cave twice, and I was getting pretty frustrated.  After all, that was the "easy" part.  I wasn't even having difficulty there when I was working it.

After about the 14th go at it, I pulled a flapper on the side of my finger.  I had literally one more wrap of tape left and wound it around the torn up skin, prepared for a final go.

I pulled the start and cruised through the beginning section.  Shawn had the camera in hand and was snapping away.  On what had to be the last go of the day, I sent El Techo De Los Tres B.

I am super psyched.  However, my hand was not as happy.

Friday, September 21, 2012

It's Here!

So, my rope and draws finally came in! I am pretty excited. This marks the first step in becoming a more rounded climber again. I haven't regularly climbed on rope in almost three years. I have been strictly focusing on bouldering and think it would drastically improve to get back some of the stamina that I used to have. We'll see. I am super psyched!

Don't forget it.

For those of you in my area, or anywhere near Las Cruces, the Reel Rock 7 is showing next Thursday at 7:00 PM at the Rio Grande Theatre.  It should be great.  It has some really great stuff in it, but don't take my word for it, here's the trailer below!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Being in the Army and training for climbing at the same time is very difficult.  For those of you that haven't been in the military, it is very hard to explain the role Physical Training (PT) has in the system, but it is seemingly crutial.  The standard is that every Soldier (in theory) shows up at 0630 and conducts PT is some form or another.  They may run or flip tires or occasionally play a sport.  Few of these activities help whatsoever with climbing. 
Since I have been back, however, I have formed the Fort Bliss Competitive Climbing Team.  This is a group of climbers from Fort Bliss that will hopefully start competing by October of this year.  That is only a month away! In itself, that is pretty exciting.  The more exciting part, though, is that I am able to conduct PT with the team.  Again, for those of you not affiliated with the military, this doesn't seem like a huge deal, but in reality its fairly monumental.  I got lucky enough to have a very understanding First Sergeant and Sergeant Major.  They emphasize morale and representing your unit through competition.  Worked out pretty well.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What is a Climber?

I read a forum question on Mountain Project today that piqued my interest.  It is something that I have caught myself scoffing at some and completely overlooking it with others, yet I had never really questioned why.  The question is, what is a climber?  Who is allowed to use this title? Is that even what it is?  I have, in the past, had people come up to me after finding out that I climb, telling me they know some friend of a friend that is a "climber."  Sometimes I even happen upon the selfproclaimed Climber.  While I was in Afghanistan, I came across another El Pasoan that claimed to be a climber.  He told me that he loved to climb but had only been out to Hueco Tanks once because it was "pretty lame."  I know that every hobby has this imaginary line they draw between the purist and the occasionals.  For me, it is more of a mindset.  It all comes down to why you participate.  Lance Armstrong is a cyclist, but is the paper boy on your block?  I would be interested in what people think about this topic.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

So close.

Went out to Hueco yesterday and got on El Techo de los Tres B.  I am from the start to sticking the throw but having been back from Afghanistan, I am still low on stamina.  It's also not as good to stay out until 3:00 AM the night before either.  I did run into a friend of Ben Edwards (my favorite climbing partner) named Colby Clear.  It's good to see people from the Austin area.  Sometimes I feel like everyone stopped climbing when I left, since I hardly see anyone.  I guess that is one of the perks of living in the mecca of bouldering.  People come to see me occasionally.

Also, I found the video of the "Speedclimbing Competition" I did a few weeks back with Dan Goodwin.  It's pretty entertaining.  I feel silly competing in speed climbing, being that I have competed in so many technical comps.  I still had that feeling that I always have at the beginning of a comp.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Spain Buildering

Here is a clip I finally found and downloaded of some buildering in Spain.  I had already done this little V4 problem but they wanted to get it on video.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Back from the NC

Well, despite being in a beautiful state full of trees and grass, there was not very much climbing. Even the hypothetical buildering I scoped out was greeted with a not so southern welcome. Therefore, I went to Hueco on monday immediately after coming back. Day 2 on El Techo was pretty good and after throwing around the corner about 20 times i discovered a different foot that allowed me to get the move first try. The bad news is that I didn't have the strength to finish it. The good news is that Alex got some great photos.